Safety & Accident

NFPA, Chevrolet, OnStar to Provide Electric Vehicle Safety Training

September 02, 2010

CHICAGO - The National Fire Protection Association announced collaboration with Chevrolet and OnStar, stemming from an electric vehicle safety training initiative NFPA is developing to support the growing number of electric vehicles in the United States, according to a release from GM.

The announcement was made at the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Fire-Rescue International Conference in Chicago.

The initiative, funded by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, will include a series of electric vehicle emergency response safety programs, providing information that first responders need to most effectively deal with emergency situations involving electric vehicle technology.

NFPA will be reaching out to other auto manufacturers in an effort to include vehicle-specific information in training as more electric vehicles enter the marketplace.

"With the Chevrolet Volt and other electric vehicles about to hit the streets, it is important to know that first responders are trained and ready to respond," said Andrew Klock, NFPA's senior project manager for the initiative. "First responders have a long history of successfully adapting their response to new automotive technologies in order to protect the public as well as themselves."

The collaboration with Chevrolet and OnStar includes the co-development of safety resources, including web-based training materials, a vehicle extrication video, and shared resources for instructor-led safety presentations. NFPA will be developing training and course curriculum to ensure that first responders know how to respond to incidents involving electric vehicles.

At the IAFC Conference, Chevrolet and OnStar hosted a three-hour training session that included a vehicle extrication demonstration featuring the Volt. Experts highlighted key points for first responders, including locations of high-strength steel and cut points for extrication. The extrication demonstration will be videotaped and made available for reference on the NFPA Electric Vehicle Safety Training Web site.

NFPA is currently developing training materials and course curriculum for the full safety training program. Trainings will be available in the first quarter of 2011.

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